What is Water Recycling?
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All water is naturally recycled as a part of the hydrologic cycle. Human-made water recycling, on the other hand, is when wastewater is highly treated to be safely reused. This type of water recycling, also known as water reuse or water reclamation, reclaims water from a variety of sources and is used for many different beneficial purposes.
The water can come from places like domestic sewage, industrial wastewater, stormwater runoff, hydraulic fracturing, and more. After it is treated, some of this water can become potable drinking water. Other recycled water contains more total dissolved salts and nutrients, limiting its use for landscape irrigation, industrial processes, recreational water areas, gray water applications, groundwater recharge, and more.
How Does Water Recycling Work?
The water recycling process varies depending on the water’s source, use, and delivery, but the water always goes through many treatment process steps. The first step of water recycling typically removes oil and large particles from the water. This is done with sand tanks, oil and water separation tanks, triple interceptor tanks, and more. Once oil and large solids have been removed, the water goes into process and filtration system tanks to remove the remaining particulate matter and sediment.
The wastewater is then treated, disinfected, and cleaned. The specific formulas, additives, and number of treatments used vary greatly depending on the water’s source, makeup, and intended use. This includes treatment technologies like ozonation, aerobic treatment, reverse osmosis, and advanced oxidation. If the water is being used for potable drinking water, it will also be sterilized and further purified.